Agency transition for product information management (PIM) is the process of changing primary support of a company’s PIM system from one agency to another.

Companies transition PIM support agencies for many reasons: the contracted agreement has naturally ended with the first agency; the company wants to change their PIM platform, which necessitates an agency change; the first agency was not qualified to undertake the company’s PIM support; the company wants to take PIM further than what the first agency can support; etc.  

Regardless of the reason, agency transitions often happen due to a lack of satisfaction with the current agency’s skillsets or approach. This can create an air of distrust in onboarding a replacement.

Ntara has a tried and tested PIM agency transition process that alleviates distrust as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth and productive jumpstart to this new partnership.  

Illustrated concept of a PIM agency transition process. It begins with the agency gaining access to systems and conducting deep dive sessions to learn about current processes. Then, once the PIM platform is determined, it moves into development of a PIM implementation plan. From there, both the client team and the agency team begin working together, with the agency team leading the way toward the client team’s business objectives.

Timing and tracking 

This process of agency transition can take several weeks, especially depending on the complexity of your PIM setup and processes. At Ntara, we keep track of the process throughout and provide detailed reporting to ensure a joint understanding of the progress.  

Our goal is to ensure our clients are empowered in working with us, particularly if a client has recently come out of a situation that was not ideal. You are always welcome to request additional information to best suit the reporting you need to satisfy stakeholders.  

Gain access & conduct deep dive sessions 

First things first, we need temporary access to your PIM system. This can be read-only, but it is essential for us to gain a high-level understanding of your data model and datasets, as well as use of your PIM platform.  

From there, we’ll ask you to round up key information to prepare us for a series of “deep dive” sessions. During those sessions, we want to learn as much as we can about your goals and your general business, the types of products you sell, and your required inputs and outputs. We’ll need to uncover any existing systems diagrams, workflows, governance requirements, and more.  

Don’t worry, we manage everything and make the process as seamless as possible. 

Understanding the current state of your product data  

We implement three different PIM platforms—inriver, Salsify, and Riversand.  

For inriver, our team has developed a proprietary set of PIM Tools to fast track our analysis of your PIM setup. PIM Tools is a browser-based application that automates the administration of inriver’s control center. Once we’re granted a login to your instance of inriver, we can download instant insights on your company’s number of users, number of CVLs, roles, restricted fields, whether or not you use specifications, and—most importantly—your current marketing model.  

This information is output into easily ingestible formats. It gives our team an understanding of how you’ve implemented inriver, how the integrations work between all systems, and potential data cleanup or remediation requirements. Sometimes PIM Tools reveals net new insights into your use of inriver that are valuable to both you and us as implementers.  

Salsify and Riversand have similar out-of-the-box tools that allow you to make changes to your marketing model, plan out business rules, and set up restrictions within your product data. 

Developing your PIM plan 

After establishing your current state and the delta to your ideal end state, we scope a phased plan with estimated level of effort for each piece. This gives your team and company a set of digestible steps to achieve one at a time.  

This agile approach to building and releasing functionality toward your ideal end state in phases makes the process feel more manageable. This approach also makes budgeting and approvals easier, too. Our goal is to make each daunting task a bit simpler.  

Moving forward together 

From there, we take action together with our team leading the way. After these agency transition steps, your PIM team will be aligned around your business objectives. They will understand your challenges and opportunities and have an actionable plan in place.  

Agency transition is typically part of a larger, fixed-bid discovery project. It covers everything outlined here, plus additional analysis. Once complete, our extended team will have what we need for a successful PIM journey, from data enrichment to your customized implementation and ongoing optimization.  

Agency transition is the first of many steps to aligning your business around PIM—and it’s critical to ensure that we get started on the right foot. 

Want to stay in the loop on future Ntara content? Subscribe to our blog.